After Russia’s massive bombing campaign on Monday, the United States promised Ukraine more advanced anti-aircraft defense systems. Germany speeds up planned delivery. Volodymyr Zelensky also asked the British and Canadians for anti-aircraft defenses.
“A fruitful conversation with the President of the United States. Air defense is currently the number one priority in our defense cooperation.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a tweet late Monday night. Then the White House confirmed that Joe Biden, in the phone call that followed the Russian response, pledged to continue providing the support Ukraine needs to defend itself. Including advanced anti-aircraft systems.
At the end of September, Zelensky confirmed for the first time that his country had received such systems. Washington reportedly supplied Kyiv with two batteries of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), which the Ukrainians have long been ordering. It is an advanced anti-aircraft defense that protects against attacks by drones, helicopters and cruise missiles. “But believe me, that’s not far enough away to protect all of our infrastructure, schools, hospitals and homes,” Zelensky said at the time. Now Biden appears to be promising more of those regulations.
It is not only the Americans who are coming to the rescue of Kyiv. Germany pledges to deliver similar Iris-T SLM anti-aircraft systems “within days”. Germany’s surface-to-air missiles – which can protect an entire city from missile strikes – were already pledged in June, and were initially expected to be delivered by the end of this year. After Monday’s extensive Russian campaign of revenge, it appears that this could be done much faster. According to German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, the barrage of bombs underscores Ukraine’s urgent need for surface-to-air missiles.
However, Volodymyr Zelensky preferred to deliver more anti-aircraft guns. On Monday evening, he spoke with British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He also asked them to help defend Ukrainian airspace.